Another beautiful autumn afternoon in Boulder... and we're stuck in the office. 

Actually, I have to admit, while working with the rest of the gnomes here at Card Gnome, I've never felt 'stuck' in the office and my work, has never felt like a chore. Much of my delight comes from the individuals I have the pleasure to work beside. One in particular is Steve Lowtwait, Card Gnome Art Director and Artist. 

His work is beyond genius and his witty one-liners are hysterical. Spend one hour talking through ideas and analogies with Steve and it feels more like a conversation over coffee rather than a regular Tuesday branding meeting. To borrow a phrase from Joel, "The entire time he's worked with us, there hasn't been one thing that Steve has submitted or created for us that hasn't made me say, 'Wow.'" My thoughts exactly, Joel. 

Sure it is easy to be impressed by so many artist's works and creations, but to see Steve's creativity in action is absolutely astonishing. 

For the locals that haven't seen Steve's work around Boulder and for all of you around the nation and around the world, visit CampSteve, his website. He also recently wrote a blog post talking about his work with us here. 

Read his blog post, Working for the Gnome, here

Want to get to know Steve Lowtwait more and support his work? "Like" him on Facebook  and Follow him on Twitter: @campsteve 


What's a pirate without his eye-patch? A witch without her broomstick? Halloween just isn't Halloween without a costume! 

To make sure every superhero has a cape, Card Gnome is holding a Costume Drive to help give costumes to kids in need. Going on now through Halloween, Card Gnome is working with Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence - SPAN to ensure every child has a spooktacular Halloween! 

Through our work with SPAN and your generous help, we hope to supply 100 costumes and raise $500 dollars to benefit women and children of SPAN.

Three ways you can help:

Send Halloween Cards!

$1 of every regularly priced Halloween card sold between now and October 31st helps us turn children supported by SPAN into ghastly goblins and ghouls! 

Donate a Costume!

If you are near Boulder, Colorado, you can drop off your new or gently used costumes at the SPAN Outreach Center located at 835 North Street, Boulder, CO 80302. You can also mail costumes and costumes accessories to the Card Gnome office: 1050 Walnut Street – Suite 202, Boulder, CO 80302.

Donate Directly!

Give to Card Gnome’s Halloween fund and we’ll pass it on to SPAN for families and children in need.

Visit the Cards and Costumes page on the Card Gnome website to get all the details on this frightfully good fundraiser!


September's guest design brief is by Ellen Sklar Abbott, fellow Card Gnome artist and accomplished illustrator. Influenced by the art of Homer, Hopper and Charles Burchfield, Ellen has studied at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as private art academy. Ellen has also worked in film and publishing. 

notable, holiday occurs each year on the last Sunday in September (this year on the 25th) for mothers of sons or daughters who are fallen war heroes. Called Gold Star Mother’s Day, it was designated a holiday by presidential proclamation in 1918. The holiday originated as a club for mothers who lost children in war and today is open to any mother. The custom of hanging a gold-starred banner in a window commemorates each lost child who fought in battle during war. The banner consists of a single gold star in the center of a white or linen colored background surrounded by a dark red border that signifies the color of blood. A blue star represents each living son or daughter hero.

The banner colors also bring to mind autumn with rich gold and red leaves of aspen, oaks and maples. Crisp autumn days mean bright blue skies, leaves swirling in the wind, the smell of wood fires and apple pie. Autumn spices are cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, and sage. Use all your senses when thinking of great card ideas, it will help form a picture in your mind.

When designing for Gold Star Mother’s Day here’s a few ideas to begin with—of course your ideas may be far more contemporary! Nostalgia: Picture an old tea stained linen towel with hand stitching, calligraphy with ink blots in black on parchment as if written with a quill pen that splattered. Deep red or burgundy, marine blue, and rich gold reminds me of an old quilt or an old flag. A wood cook stove, home cooked meals. Comfort, roots, bonding, and a mother’s love for children are themes to consider.

Listening to music helps get me in the frame of mind when I am sketching out ideas. Since this holiday began in 1918 perhaps early folk or blues will help you visualize. I do a lot of free sketching or scribbling to help get the juices flowing. The idea is to use what ever method gets you in the right frame of mind to come up with a great card for this special holiday.

Illuminated Warrior Greeting Card

Lauren Fellows, a self-described anime enthusiast and geology geek, has gone prime time! Fellows, who confesses she draws to maintain her sanity, recently had her art appear in the ABC family hit tv show, 'Pretty Little Liars'.  

Watch the episode and around the 24 minute mark, you'll be able to check it out yourself!

A Colorado native, Fellows is currently enrolled at Puget Sound in Washington. Her favorite anime is Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, but her style is influenced by Pokemon's Ken Sugimori. When she's not drawing, she can be found watching anime, writing, and skiing. Visit her blog to learn more about Lauren! 

See all of Lauren Fellows' art on Card Gnome in her shop, Magu's Card Shop.

ColdSnap Studio Goofy Puppy
Chrissy Fanslau has always had a love for picture books, storytelling, and drawing. Perhaps this is why she creates greeting cards that look as if they have just come off the page of a child’s picture book. Her illustrations are absolutely fantastic and will make just about anyone think to themselves: “Awwwww, how cute!”

After spending her “early days” between eastern Europe and U.S.’s east coast, Chrissy now lives in North Pole, Alaska. She is still able to work with publishers to create images for magazines and other mediums. And, of course, she creates amazing greeting cards for Card Gnome under the shop name ColdSnapStudio. Her previous experience as an art director in children’s publishing and as an advertising agency graphic designer has led her to where she is today. She is now a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Her cards are fabulous for any kid in your life: from birthday cards to get well soon cards, Chrissy’s cards will make any child smile.
Happy Birthday Cupcake Greeting
Flower Friends Get Well Soon Greeting


View more...